Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Well I have loved writing since I was in the third grade and wrote a page turning novel about a mermaid, a magical pearl and ruthless treasure hunters…but my computer died when Y2K hit and my story was lost forever. Since then, I have learned about backups HA!
I originally published two scifi books, but decided to rebrand myself as a historical fiction author and pulled those two from stores.
So, I wrote Blood of Toma, and it earned a finalist medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and for the Montaigne Medal. The premise: When an Aztec priestess is destined to be a sacrifice for her people, her future shatters when her father is murdered amid a civil war, and she is forced to the jungle to escape from an dishonorable death only to fall into the hands of Conquistadors bent on turning her into a traitor. It is currently being offered for FREE if you sign up on my website (www.laurenleemerewether.com).
I have started a series and have several book outlines ready to be written.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Salvation in the Sun which is the first book of my new series The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles. I watched the National Geographic channel and saw they were consolidating all of King Tut’s tomb treasures. It peaked my interest and decided to do research on the lost Kings of the New Kingdom and eventually I decided to focus on Nefertiti with a draft I had originally entitled I Am Queen Nefertiti. However, it didn’t make sense to not tell the whole story and cover the entire line of forgotten Kings and decided to make it a series called The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles starting with the end of Amenhotep III’s reign.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I outline on paper, the computer, whiteboard and post-its on a wall and then cross-reference them all to get the complete picture. It takes a lot of time, but if I stuck with one medium, I don’t think I would get as many ideas.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Interestingly enough, the book, The Deluge Story in the Stone, is about a worldwide great flood and the geosciences that prove it, and it made me go do my own research. Then I read my father-in-law’s book on the History of Ancient Civilization, and I found out that I really love to research ancient cultures. During my research, I began to imagine what life was like and then the ideas came to me. I decided to write historical fiction. I try very hard to make sure my story fits within all the known facts of the time period I am writing because I think it is important to learn history. I know most people aren’t going to sit down with a research paper, so having a story makes it interesting and fun. In the back of my books, I plan to write a one page research-type summary of the period the book covers for those who do want a more objective and factual view of what really happened.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on the second book of the The Lost Pharaoh Chronicles series, Secrets in the Sand. You can stay up to date with me on my Facebook page (facebook.com/llmbooks) or follow me on Twitter (@llmbooks).
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Email – hands down.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing, and take a course in outlining and audience building. I used to “outline” and then take a year to write a book. Now I truly outline and can produce a book in 90 days writing only two-ish hours a day if I stick to my schedule. It is hard balancing family, kids, a full-time job, health issues, and other obligations, but (advice to myself as well) if you are truly serious about writing, make the time.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Writer’s block is not a condition. Just make yourself write five more words and then walk away GUILT FREE. ~ Jessica Brody
Usually after the five words, you are unstuck and keep writing, but if you don’t, then oh well – GUILT FREE.
What are you reading now?
Sword of Peace by Louisa Bauman and A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers – both Historical Christian Fiction
What’s next for you as a writer?
I plan to continue to strive towards a full-time income off of my writing and really have the coveted author career.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
So hard to choose only 3 or 4, but if I had to:
The Bible (NASB or NKJ)
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Read it in 5th grade and loved it so much)
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Just a wonderful wonderful story of redemption)
Then Sings My Soul by Robert Morgan (I love to sing and know the history behind the songs)